The domestic politics of international hierarchy: Risk management and the reconstitution of international society

Author
William Clapton, Shahar Hameiri
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
International Politics
Volume
49
Issue Number
1
Publication Date
January 2012
Institution
Palgrave Macmillan
Abstract
Recent work has identified new hierarchical relationships within international society. However, few scholars have provided a satisfactory account of what informs their formation, reproduction or constitutional effects for international society. We argue that underpinning the emergence of a more hierarchical international society is a new social logic of risk, which constructs illiberal and/or fragile states as potentially dangerous sites of instability and disorder that pose particular security risks for Western states. We proceed to argue that such risk-based hierarchies are transformative of both inter-state and intra-state relations, by stripping equal political agency from 'risky' actors within and without the state. We demonstrate these claims by drawing on examples of international state building in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific.
Topic
Politics